December 12, 2019

Your favorite childhood pancake behemoth wants to get ya before work

IHOP launched a chain of fast-casual restaurants called Flip’d in the hopes that the new restaurant concept can expand its appeal.

Yesterday IHOP announced it’s getting into the crowded to-go breakfast game with Flip’d — a quick spot to grab made-to-order breakfast and coffee.

They’re launching a pilot in Atlanta in April and have tentative plans to open in other big cities like NYC, DC, Denver, and SF.

IHOP is banking on urbanites’ appetite for a fast made-to-order b-fast

Flip’d’s menu will feature egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and a build-your-own pancake bar. They’ll also serve pancake bowls, which sounds like a feat of culinary engineering, but seems to be pancakes in a takeout container.

They’ll offer online ordering and are trying to court customers who grab a quick bite with their caffeine fix. 

In the words of IHOP president Jay Johns, “Today, millions of Americans are settling for sub-par breakfast foods that are either microwaved or have been sitting under a heat lamp because they’re forced to grab something while at their usual coffee spot.” (Ahem, Starbucks.)

But Starbucks’s culture runs deep. It has 40% of the coffee shop market in the US, and it’s unlikely people will make two stops for b-fast and coffee. So Flip’d’s espresso drinks better compete with Sbux’s Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino. 

Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Panera are also vying for market share

Wendy’s will be serving breakfast in 2020, and Dunkin recently added new breakfast items, including a Beyond Meat b-fast sammie. McDonald’s took a swipe at Starbucks by releasing a cinnamon cookie latte for the holidays and added Donut Sticks to the menu. (Please don’t order those together.) Panera’s breakfast menu got a face-lift this year as well.

These heavy hitters may be investing more in meal #1 because industry reports say it’s a growing market

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